Review: Fickle Friends at the Engine Rooms by Tama...

Review: Fickle Friends at the Engine Rooms by Tamara Grzegorzek

Fickle Friends first popped up on my radar with the release of their first EP ‘Velvet’ with Polydor Records back in 2015. Shortly after that, I heard their synth drowned tunes such as ‘Swim‘ and ‘Brooklyn‘ and I was pretty much hooked.

Since forming in 2013, the Brighton band have had many achievements such as Supporting The Kooks on tour, appearances at festivals including Reading, Bestival and Community Fest as well as recording with the legendary Mike Crossey (Foals, Arctic Monkeys and The Kooks).

In 2017 the band released their latest EP ‘Glue’ back during the festival season, now their touring the country to promote their new tracks. I saw Fickle Friends live back in Dec 2016 at Heaven in London, so was looking forward to seeing them again.

I arrived down to The Engine Rooms in Southampton just in time to catch the first act, Portsmouth’s very own indie-pop princess Jerry Williams.  It was my first time here and is a great little venue with many upcoming artists passing through it. Jerry was invited down to play by BBC introducing who have helped the Fickle Friends pick local supports for most of their tour dates.

Jerry played upbeat well known tracks such as ‘I’m Not In Love With You‘ as well as some new music and a well arranged cover of Jamie T’s ‘If You Got The Money.’  It was great to see The crowd requesting her own songs, showing she was no stranger to the audience here.

Next on the bill was Scottish born Callum Beattie. Callum was the only act on the lineup who I had not been familiar with before the show, and i’m pretty sure its not the last time i’ll see him. With harmony driven melody’s and catchy, singable hooks, Beattie captivated the audience. His tracks give off a familiarity that makes it easy to feel connected with straight away.

There was a slightly longer wait between Callum and Fickle Friends which only built excitement in the room. The stage layout was rearranged and Palm Trees we’re brought on which transformed the room from a warehouse in Southampton to a Beach party in LA. The house lights went down and the intro music began to play.

This consisted of a remix of well known ‘friend’ lyric based tracks such as ‘You’ve Got A Friend In Me’ by Randy Newman, ‘We Are Your Friends’ by Justice’ and ‘All My Friends’ by Snakehips. Fickle Friends entered the stage to strobe lighting and opened with recent single ‘Hello Hello.’ This was followed up with Brooklyn and the audience erupted into singing every word and clapping along when encouraged to do so. The transition between songs was slick with multiple live remixes which really helped to hold audience attention with one example being a whole new intro for ‘Cry Baby.’

The band threw a few new songs into the mix including one called ‘Wake Me Up’ which went down a treat. With their newer songs they were running more track than on the older ones, making for a fuller and more pop driven sound. Although there was a clear difference between newer and older material, the older fans seemed to embrace this change which allowed the band to broaden their audience.

Natti’s interaction with the audience was humbling and friendly, thanking the support bands for playing and giving promise of a debut album coming very soon. This was the third night of the tour which has sold out every night so far, which was something the band were incredibly grateful to the audience for when saying “Thank you so much for coming down. Its sold out, this is mental, this is wicked.”

Natti’s interaction with the audience was humbling and friendly, thanking the support bands for playing and giving promise of a debut album coming very soon.

Written by Tamara Grzegorzek
Photos by Jonny Elstone

Find out more about Tamara and Johnny’s own band, Me And The Moon and their latest release ‘Get Away’ by clicking here.


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